Local ride: Ducati Monster 821

Ducati’s popular naked bike returns with a new engine and with power even novices can handle in the right mode

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The Ducati Monster, first introduced in 1993, is one of Ducati’s most popular naked bike models. Over 23 years, the Monster has continued to evolve through technological advancements and in the form of new variants. On test here is the fourth iteration of the Monster – the Monster 821.

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One of the new features of the Monster 821 is the liquid-cooled 4-stroke Testastretta 11° L-Twin with four Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, derived from the HyperStrada. Power output is rated at 112bhp@9,250rpm with torque figures at 94Nm@7,750rpm.

The key feature of the Testastretta engine is its longevity. The valve clearance check can now be performed once every 30,000km, while the recommended service maintenance interval is pegged at every 15,000km or 12 months.

The Monster 821’s ECU is carried over from its older sibling, the Monster 1200. It comes with the DSP Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC) and three built-in Riding Modes – Sport, Touring, and Urban. Both Sport and Touring modes have the full capacity of the 112hp output, but each mode differs in terms of throttle response and the intervention response of the ABS and DTC.


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Urban mode is considerably the safest of the three with horsepower reduced to 75bhp as well as Traction Control System (TCS) and ABS set to maximum. In addition to the DSP, the Monster 821 is equipped with dual 320mm semi-floating discs and radial Monobloc Brembo M4-32 callipers for the front brakes.

To ensure rider comfort, the Monster 821’s seat cushion is longer and wider than its predecessor’s, featuring a cushion thickness of 80mm in addition to a length of 27mm and a width of 34mm. The seat height is adjustable between 785 and 810mm.

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The Monster 821 is known for its unique centre of gravity located at the lower part of the fuel tank with a forward sitting posture instead of having it at the pedal position. Urban mode is suitable for first time novice riders who are just getting to grips with the bike, but having a unique centre of gravity provides good training for riders to practise smooth inputs for the throttle and cornering to improve their riding technique. Those who appreciate the uniqueness of the Monster 821 will surely come to love it.

Engine: 821.1cc, liquid-cooled 4-stroke Testastretta 11° L-Twin 2-cylinder 8 Desmodromic valves, 112bhp, 94Nm
Transmission: 6-speed
Fuel Economy: 5.2L/100km, 119g/km
Weight: 205.5kg
Price: RM69,000

Even with its powerful engine, the Monster 821 delivers a mature style of control making it easy enough for novice riders to use with the aid of the electronic systems.

Author: TopGear
TopGear is the world’s best-selling motoring magazine. The Malaysian edition holds similar status, as acknowledged by the industry.